Wonderful Wednesday: September 2018

26 September 2018

How is it the end of September already?! This month has been particularly splendid, which is probably why it has flown by. I've gathered some of my favourites below so read on for tasty treats, autumnal revelling and some house planning discussion.


♥ Anniversary... Beginning with September is a particularly special month for me because our wedding anniversary falls almost mid-way through. It feels so odd to think that our wedding day fell three years ago already - which isn't a long time at all but at the same time, feels like a lifetime ago (in the best possible way!)

We were both working this year unfortunately (boo to mid-week special occasions and not enough annual leave!) but went out for a lovely meal in the evening at a local restaurant we'd been saving for this very occasion. It turns out going out on a Wednesday evening makes for a very quiet and cosy night, and the food was amazing. I've been waxing lyrical about the smoked haddock risotto I had ever since too. Yums. 

♥ Neighbourly adventures... We've been lucky enough to have good neighbours in the last few places we've lived but we're so lucky to get on really well with the lovely lady next door at our new place - and she's remarkably tolerant to how fond I am of her dog too! We went blackberry picking last month and she came over for dinner a couple of weeks ago - a late night with lots of good food, conversation and a few too many glasses of red wine. It also gave me the chance to make my favourite blueberry cheesecake, which always goes down a treat and makes for a tasty dessert over the course of the following days too (if it lasts that long).

♥ Autumn-spotting... Autumn is here at last but I've been loving spotting all the little signs of it over the course of the last few weeks, from the blackberries and sloes dotting the hedgerows to the slightly crisper mornings and the bite in the air. Bring on all the woollens, I'm ready to get cosy!

Autumn, for me, is also about curling up with something darkly gothic - not too scary, mind, I'm not good with things that are too frightening. But a good old fashioned gothic novel or film, there's nothing cosier. This weekend, we braved the cold and the rain and headed into London to watch 'The Little Stranger' at the Barbican cinema. It was wonderful - beautifully shot and deliciously eerie. I loved it. Full disclaimer though - I did have to turn to my husband at the end and say "you know that bit where I had my hands in front of my face/fingers in my ears, what could you see/hear?" See what I mean, very eerie!

I think I did push the experience too far though by agreeing to watch 'The Woman in Black' the following evening. I've seen it at the theatre and found it terrifying but thought, I coped with that so this will totally be fine. It was not fine. I've barely slept since. There's a fine line between pleasantly chilling and cosily gothic, and giving yourself a stress headache because you're so terrified. Walk that line carefully, my friends.

♥ Pinterest moodboarding... We're not going to get a chance to do anything major with our little cottage this year but to be honest, that was never really the plan. I have started making plans for next year though and Pinterest is so helpful with that! I'd like to tackle our bedroom first and have been scrapbooking colours, beds (and bedding!) and storage options. I think I need to get a bit of a floor plan going too to plan where things are going to go and maximise some storage. Where do you like to look for homeware? Any recommendations?

♥ Family catch-ups... One of my favourite things this month was finally going to visit my brother and his girlfriend at their new flat in south-east London. We had lunch at the flat before heading out to explore nearby Crystal Palace. The sun was shining, so we took pedalos out on the lake in the park before spending a little while pottering around all the antique shops, going for a few drinks and then enjoying an amazing dinner at an Iranian restaurant you find by disappearing down some steps through a very unassuming doorway. It was one of those weekends in the best of company when you're devastated that it's come to an end! Need to get more of those in the diary - long train journeys, be damned!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week/month a little rosier by leaving me a comment below or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJo, LauraSarahPetaElMimmiLynseyKatie and Em (I think that's everyone - shout at me if you're not on the list!) - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Review: Lunch at Indigo at One Aldwych, London (gluten free)

6 September 2018

Last Friday, I was lucky enough to be treated to a three-course meal at Indigo at One Aldwych by my husband for my birthday. It was so delicious that I thought I would do a short write-up of our meal (with apologies for the photos, which were just snapped on my phone), particularly because it's an entirely gluten free and dairy free restaurant and so it was extra special to have the freedom to order absolutely anything from the menu.

One Aldwych is a hotel located right in the centre of London - along the Strand and a stone's throw from Covent Garden. We started the day with a stroll around the Southbank and a visit to the Hayward Gallery, before crossing the river ready for some lunch. The hotel itself looks gorgeous, a real treat of a place, with a spa on site too. There's a cocktail bar on the ground floor, with amazing floral displays, and Indigo is located above this with a balcony area (where we were seated) from which you can look down to the bar below.

We started off with some cocktails while we browsed the menu - a strawberry and basil mojito for me, and a Rob Roy for my husband who likes his cocktails a little old fashioned (read: a little less fruity!). The menu itself changes seasonally, with the ingredients sourced from the British Isles. It was a really difficult choice! When we had chosen our starters and main courses, we were brought some freshly-made gluten free bread with a little bottle of rapeseed oil to dip the bread into. Oh that bread. It was still warm and seasoned with fresh herbs, and like no bread I've eaten at any hotel I've been to recently. In fact, it was particularly sweet as the memory of a hotel we stayed at after a wedding last weekend was still fresh in my mind - where they brought me three slices of burnt stale bread at breakfast, two of which were the ends of the loaf. Bread this good is a life-changing experience for a coeliac!

I opted for the cured Loch Duart salmon to start, which was served with grapefruit, coriander and puréed avocado. It was absolutely beautiful - so fresh and light. We both opted for fish to start, with my husband choosing the seared Orkney scallops served with sweetcorn, apple and truffle.

Although I was tempted by the fish and chips because I'm aaaalways tempted by fish and chips, based entirely on the fact that I was going to have a glass of red wine I opted for the Bavette steak instead with hand cut chips. It's not often that a coeliac can have those kinds of chips in a restaurant because they're usually wheaty (for no good reason!) so that was another major factor in the reasoning behind my decision. It was amazing - so tender and accompanied by a salsa verde that added a whole new layer of flavour to the dish. I inhaled it and only then remembered that I should have snapped a photo (hence that's the only one missing here!)

After much deliberation, my husband chose the Brixham plaice, served with Scottish langoustine, preserved lemon and fennel, with some Cornish new potatoes on the side. He was as happy with his choice as I was with mine - the plaice itself was particularly delicious, which I can attest to having snaffled an eager mouthful. 

The courses weren't overwhelmingly huge, which meant that we comfortably had room for dessert and after much deliberation, I choose the strawberries and custard with a digestive biscuit. I was really not picturing what arrived, which was more like a strawberry and custard tart. One taste of it brought me back to holidays in France when I was small and the strawberry tarts I used to love there - a taste I really thought I'd never get to experience again. My husband selected the custard tart with pear and, having experienced a great amount of really unfortunate gluten free pastry, he polished this off. Gluten free dining has come a long long way in recent years but this was another level altogether.  

We finished the meal with coffees, which arrived with petits fours. Somehow, we managed to fit them in and were very happily full as we walked back to the station through a very sunny London. 

If it wasn't clear from the above, I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Indigo. It's not cheap but for a special occasion, it's a real treat. The staff were lovely and you don't feel rushed in the slightest. I loved every moment. Bearing in mind its location, it would be perfect for a pre-theatre meal and there were so many groups enjoying afternoon teas too (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed, with some impressive candy floss!).

Do let me know if you've visited One Aldwych or if you're planning to go after reading this! Bon appétit!

One Aldwych
1 Aldwych

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